I chose this place because at the time, I was looking at a site for 200 guests, and they were the only ones with enough space on the day I needed them. They also drew me in because of the great deal on the food. Their prices are listed on their webpage. Most of the packages include a 5 hour open bar, which was my selling point. Our guests, and myself, loved the food. Appetizers were devoured quickly, and replenished as quickly. The main course, buffet style, also was a hit.
Our reception was in the grand ballroom, but since there wasn’t anything going on in the building that night, Sharen, the manager, allowed us to have the cocktail hour in the Riverside Ballroom and waived the additional rental fee. That room got much more early evening light and allowed for more mingling as guests had the entire ballroom to socialize in. Downstairs there was a private room stocked with appetizers and our own wait staff for drink orders for the bridal party. Granted, we were only there long enough to take off my veil and take a few pictures, but the BP who were involved in the pictures loved having unlimited food! As for the food…some people bash this site for having Cocktail Franks on the menu. I didn’t want them; didn’t think they were classy. My husband wanted them, so I gave in. They were gobbled up the fastest! Food for thought.
Sharen was awfully accommodating to us. We decided not to do a signature cocktail, but instead had blueberries floating in everyone’s champagne for the champagne toast (blue was our big color). That was a hit, and she didn’t charge us for that. We were allowed in the day before to decorate, which really saved some headaches. She lent us an easel for the signature mat. She let us bring in some of my family’s rum (cousin has his own label). She let us have a champagne bucket at our sweetheart table with as many champagne bottles as we could drink. Also, since gratuity was included in my bill, I asked her not to have a tip jar on the bar, basically double dipping on tips…and she obliged on that one, even knowing that her bartender could have made a bunch of extra money that night off of us.
End of the night, 5 hours after we began, the party was still going, and we were allowed to extend for one more hour. Their brochure says they only rent for 5 hours at a time, so I don’t know if we only got 1 hour because they don’t like to extend much, or if it was because it was already 11pm and the poor wait staff wanted to go home! As for the cost of extending, there was a fee, and the bar had to either become a cash bar or we had to run one hell of a tab – we opted for the tab.
Other little notes…they’ve recently renovated the bathrooms and they look quite nice. Little chips in the paint, etc. that I noticed when decorating really went away once the lights went down and the room was dimly lit with candles.
I didn’t realize this until I saw the pictures, but the cocktail appetizers were in chafing dishes, but the plates were Styrofoam. All drinks except for wine and champagne were in plastic cups. I guess that’s how they save money. Had I known about that in advance, I’d have freaked out and tried to rent glassware. But…in reality no one noticed or care. The food and drinks were too good and the entertainment was a hit that it really hid those little things that only brides worry about.
All in all, they were a pleasure to deal with and I highly recommend them.